Diabetes specialist is cutting costs in the face of increased competition

Danish pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk is cutting 1000 jobs across its R&D units and corporate headquarters. The figure represents over 2% of the company’s global workforce, and half will be taken from its sites in Denmark.

The cost-cutting measure comes as the company reacts to increased competition, particularly in the US insulin market. Diabetes treatments make up around half of Novo’s annual sales. Sanofi’s long-acting Lantus (insulin glargine) is Novo’s biggest challenger. While already available in Europe, biosimilar insulin glargine products are set to introduce further competition in the US: Eli Lilly will launch its Basaglar biosimilar in the US later this year, and Merck & Co is challenging Sanofi’s Lantus patents.